Skip to main content

Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

See other formats

Soviet Union. Poland had been strongly backed in her action at that
period by Great Britain and the U.S.A.; the Kremlin realised the
time was not yet ripe to prise away this support, and decided to wait for a
more opportune moment. The Kremlin knew that each hundred miles
advance westward of the Red Army would make this task easier.

After the severance of the Polish-Soviet relations there came a lull,
a e silence over Poland.' Moscow, for the time being, had to be contented
with limiting its activities on the Polish sector to propaganda concerning
the formation of Polish forces under Soviet command, laying emphasis on
the overwhelming part the Red Army was playing in Poland's c liberation.'
She expressed her nervous anger by endeavouring to silence the Polish
Press in Britain and the U.S.A. on the ever-present frontier question.,
while her propaganda underlined that " Stalin had solemnly declared his
wish to see a strong and independent Poland, a fact already well-known
to the Red Army, but one which the Poles did not wish to acknowledge.3'

On the Allied sector in 1943, the Soviets increased their propaganda
of a * second front' in Europe. It was not Stalin's policy to discuss
political matters at this time, and Russian propaganda was stressing the
point that Germany must first be defeated. In spite of numerous
invitations, Stalin did not wish to meet the leaders of the Great Demo-
cratic Powers. He preferred to encounter them when he was in the
position, not only to make new demands in support of the Russian policy
and designs, but to compel the Allies to agree with him. Therefore, he
waited until the advance of the Red Army into Central Europe enabled
him to talk, not in the role of a supplicant, but as the master of the
forthcoming activities of the war. At length, after continuous requests
from Britain and the U.S.A., a conference between the Ministers of
Foreign Affairs was arranged and held in Moscow on October 19-30, 1943,
and was intended to prepare the ground for a meeting of the three chiefs
of the United Nations. It was obvious the Kremlin considered the
moment opportune to discuss political questions and Pravda made the
Soviet attitude clear in advance, stating that the main topic of the Three-
Power Conference would not be military but political problems, in parti-
cular, those of post-war relations in Europe. " Everyone ought to know,"
wrote Pravda threateningly, " that the borders of the Soviet Union can no
more be a question for discussion than can be the frontiers of the U.S.A.
or the status of California."*

The Kremlin was thus presuming that the Allies would agree with the
fact that within thesec borders ? were the territories which Russia would re-
annex on the West as far as the * Ribbentrop-MolotoV Line/ The Moscow
Conference did not touch on frontiers, but shortly afterwards, through
the medium of the Russian envoy in Mexico, Ouniansky, the Kremlin
once more announced that it had just this c line' and none other in miad.f

* October 13th, 1943.

t Oumansky's statement of November 13th, 1943.